Harvard University students have called for a transparent vetting process before inviting officials associated with the Trump administration after their term expires.
In an open letter to the Harvard administration, students expressed their concern that Trump administration officials involved in “undermining” democratic principles may be invited to the university to speak, as faculty or fellows.
President Donald Trump has not yet accepted the results of the November 3 election despite a clear victory by Joe Biden in both popular and electoral votes.
“We worry that in following tradition and inviting members of the Trump administration to Harvard, the school would be legitimizing this subversion of democratic principles that up to now had been universally accepted by both political parties,” the letter stated.
Students’ Responsibility to Hold Officials to Account
The letter further stated that Trump administration officials, who have failed to uphold democratic norms, have “disqualified themselves” from the university and that it’s the students’ responsibility to hold them to account.
“The Institute of Politics at HKS, or any other center, has the responsibility to boldly confront Trump administration alumni invited to speak at Harvard about their collaboration or passive acceptance of this attack on truth and fundamental democratic principles — or not invite them to speak at all,” it stated.
As they stated their demands, students acknowledged that many Trump administration officials might have joined the administration to pursue “the public good in spite of these norm violations” and some might have been battling these violations from “within.”
In light of this contingency, students said, university authorities should establish “a system of accountability for high-level political appointees and Trump administration consultants before they are invited as fellows or to teach or speak on campus.”
They further asked the university to share these guidelines of accountability with students to ensure a transparent selection process.
“Harvard should stand firm with its stated commitments to a just Harvard and a just world, to free and honest inquiry in the unfettered pursuit of truth, the right to vote, a free and independent press, checks and balances, the peaceful transfer of power, and the rule of law with equal justice for all.”